Make IT Matter in Your Business Strategy

Alexander Mikoyan

Vice President and Managing Director
HP Russia

We live in an instant-on world, which requires us to be bold, proactive and decisive in order to succeed in both business and our private lives. In these circumstances, IT's impact in ensuring cost-effective, competitive and secure business growth is constantly increasing.

Today, the Russian market is completely different from what it was 20 or even 10 years ago. We see how competitive it has become even in those areas that were previously state-owned. Local companies gained expertise and today are entering global markets. International corporations in turn have become intrinsic to the Russian market. It is well known that in theory a successful business-model is built on fine-tuned business processes, wise management and skilled human resources. But in practice not a single organization, no matter how big it is, can function effectively without a solid and well-orchestrated IT-system.

Despite the fact that in many areas Russia today has leading positions, in terms of IT we still have great opportunities to grow and the local market still has a lot to gain from IT innovations and implementations both in business, the public sector and society. If in the U.S. IT makes up for 4 percent of GDP and in Germany for 3 percent, in Russia it's just above 1 percent of GDP.

As a multi-national company, being present in 170 countries we have an incredible opportunity to evaluate key market trends, understand the needs of enterprises and consumers and to be able to set industry trends and provide them with the leading solutions enabling them to be more competitive, efficient and successful.

Earlier this year, The Economist Intelligence Unit issued a survey sponsored by HP: Great Expectations or Misplaced Hopes? Perceptions of business technology in the 21st century, which revealed a technology gap between CxO in EMEA (51 percent) and EE/Russia (41 percent) of 10 percentage points, which clearly shows that Russia needs to reconsider its approach to IT, and that IT needs to become the basis for business innovations. Respondents also agreed that investments in IT increase security in organizations (EMEA -89 percent, EE/Russia — 50 percent); improve operating efficiency (EMEA -84 percent, EE/Russia — 79 percent); improve regulatory compliance (ЕМЕА — 100 percent, EE/Russia — 88 percent); streamline decision-making (ЕМЕА — 75 percent, EE/Russia — 54 percent); improve information optimization (ЕМЕА — 69 percent, EE/Russia — 73 percent). And it was supported unanimously that the IT department is the key driver of IT innovations in organizations.

This research reinforces our belief that today key trends in IT are cloud, big data, security and mobility.

Cloud

Cloud is becoming a leading trend not only for consumers but for enterprises as well because it helps business to be flexible and to scale it up and down, depending on business needs. It increases cost transparency because there is a clear understanding of what one needs to pay for and each service has its price. In this respect, IT is becoming the electricity of the 21st century. You can easily estimate the cost of boiling a tea-pot if you know the price of 1kWt/per hour. You can apply the same approach to estimating the cost of hosting 20 mail-boxes in the cloud for a month.

There is a wide range of cloud offerings on the market. HP today is offering its customers converged cloud solutions that seamlessly connect traditional IT to private cloud, managed cloud and public cloud. We see more companies in Russia adopting the cloud approach. Although there is still apprehension with some companies in terms of complete cloud adoption, there are always options to start with at the initial level and then explore hybrid options with expanding to the managed and public cloud.

Big Data

Today only 15 percent of data is structured (e.g. in databases) and 85 percent is unstructured (social media, video, audio, e-mail) and it is growing at high speed. We constantly face numerous challenges: how to store data, how to process it and how to quickly find what you are looking for in these floods of information flow. What exactly is the return on information? Therefore, there is a great need to develop this field and to be able to protect the value of information.

This is a new area for the Russian market, which is to be better explored in the upcoming year. But looking at our solid experience in this field in other countries, I definitely see great potential for it and we are already providing expertise to different industries in Russia.

Security

Security is becoming the cornerstone of every organization today. The level of cyber-crime is growing drastically every day and companies are not always aware of the damage that can be caused. The research done at the InfoSecurity Europe 2012 conference showed that respondents identified three major threats to corporate security: unintended security measures breach by employees, mobile devices and malware.

In order to prevent any security breaches companies need to have a well-thought-out security strategy and a reliable partner with a comprehensive solutions portfolio. And we see that this area still has great potential to grow in this country.

Mobility

Mobility is penetrating all the above-mentioned areas. Mobile devices are closely connected to the cloud. Behind each mobile device there is a cloud that hosts applications, pictures, videos, e-mail, which in turn require additional computing resources. Mobile devices also generate a lot of unstructured information, which needs to be stored, processed and accessed. And mobile devices need to be secure from personal and enterprise perspective.

We see a constant increase in the use of mobile devices in Russia and this trend is to progress further. There is a tangible impact of increased mobility on both top line and bottom line.

Today we see tectonic change in the way technology is consumed, delivered, paid for and even the way it is accessed. IT has become the engine that powers the enterprise and often redefines the enterprise when all these changes are taking place. A new style of IT is emerging. This style is driven by cloud, mobility, big data and security. We are at the forefront of determining new trends and driving them forward, bringing the latest technology to the dynamic Russian market.

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